On Friday, June 21st, the Morrison Bridge will “Go Purple” to honor the 76,000 Oregonians living with Alzheimer’s and their Caregivers. The bridge will be lit in purple during the dark hours of the day.
As part of a national “Longest Day” effort to bring hope and awareness to caregivers, the Association will honor these men and women who work around the clock from sun up till sun down to care for loved ones, not just on the longest day of the year but all year
Alzheimer’s Association staff will be participating in a walk through downtown Portland to raise awareness by completing nearly 16 hours of walking and exploring Portland to show we are walking with caregivers during their 16 hour day.
In Oregon, there are over 76,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease, and over 166,000 family caregivers providing unpaid care valued at over $200 million per year. The impact of caregiving is estimated to lead to over $90 million in higher health care costs each year for these caregivers in Oregon.
On a national level in 2012, 15.4 million caregivers provided more than 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $216 billion. More than 60 percent of Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; more than one-third report symptoms of depression. Due to the physical and emotional toll of caregiving, Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers had $9.1 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2012. A majority not only cares for their loved ones but maintain part time if not full time work, and caring for their own young families.
For people facing Alzheimer’s disease, this challenge is every day. For the people involved in this event, it’s just one day.